- - Thursday, August 4, 2011

FLORIDA

RNC chief: Sunshine State ‘granddaddy’ of all

TAMPA — Florida is the biggest prize in the 2012 election, so it’s no coincidence that the GOP nominating convention will be in Tampa, Sen. Marco Rubio is being discussed as a possible vice-presidential pick, and there are Floridians in leadership roles at both national parties.

With 29 Electoral College votes, Florida is the largest of the swing states, and Republicans will put a heavy emphasis on carrying the state President Obama narrowly won in 2008.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that “Florida is the granddaddy of them all” and predicted Mr. Obama can’t win because of the economy.

His counterpart at the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, says the GOP will be hurt in Florida because of proposals to change Medicare and Social Security.

IOWA STRAW POLL

GOP’s Pawlenty to shift from TV to turnout

ST. PAUL — Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty plans to fade from Iowa’s paid airwaves just days from the critical GOP straw poll in the Hawkeye State.

Campaign spokesman Alex Conant said Thursday that Mr. Pawlenty’s sustained TV ad presence ends Wednesday, three days before the Iowa Republican Party straw poll in Ames, the first time voters express their preferences. The campaign long ago locked in commercial time slots through next Friday, but decided to scale back.

Instead, Mr. Conant said money will be spent on phone banks, direct mail and other tools designed to boost Mr. Pawlenty’s popularity for the straw poll.

One GOP rival, fellow Minnesotan Rep. Michele Bachmann, plans to keep her ads up throughout next week, spokeswoman Alice Stewart said. The third candidate with a commercial presence is Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. An official with his campaign said ad plans are still being finalized.

Mr. Conant denied his candidate’s move signaled a campaign on the financial brink. Mr. Pawlenty started July with $1.4 million for his primary campaign, according to his Federal Election Commission report. Instead, Mr. Conant described it as a previously planned shift to make sure Republican voters committed to the former Minnesota governor actually show up.

 

VICE PRESIDENT

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